A traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or major whiplash can range in severity from mild to severe. Headaches and agitation are common symptoms of mild brain injuries.
A moderate brain injury can cause decreased cognitive performance, increased emotionality, and impaired impulse control. A severe or traumatic brain injury can place a patient in a coma or on a ventilator, rendering them blind to most stimuli and unable to function independently. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain or head injury, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Reach out to a North Carolina brain injury attorney at Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers today.
Why Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer?
Life-changing injuries can have a devastating effect on your life and livelihood. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for injury victims and their families, and we believe in holding wrongdoers accountable. You will notice right away that you are our top priority the moment you walk into our office.
Our TBI attorneys are adamant that those who suffer a brain injury through no fault of their own should not be held financially responsible for medical expenses. You can rely on our brain injury attorneys to work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our TBI lawyers have nearly six decades of combined experience handling work injury and personal injury cases. We understand how unprepared you may feel when a brain injury occurs unexpectedly. Income, medical treatment, and transportation may be among the issues you must address right away.
What Do Brain Injury Lawyers Do?
A traumatic brain injury attorney can help someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury get financial compensation for their losses. Legal issues arising as a result of a brain injury can be quite complex. Your TBI attorney will also need to figure out how much money you’ve lost as a result of the accident. Because brain injuries can disrupt a person’s life in so many ways, each situation is unique and requires a different legal analysis.
An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with a variety of aspects of your case in order to obtain fair compensation and the justice you deserve. The following are some of the things a personal injury lawyer focusing on brain injuries might do for you if you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic brain injury:
- Bring a lawsuit against all responsible parties.
- Carry out settlement negotiations
- Consult with insurance companies and adjusters.
- Determine negligence
- Gather all evidence and documentation in order to seek appropriate compensation.
- Obtain a favorable outcome
- Perform due diligence to identify all responsible parties.
- Prepare your trial case (if necessary)
Traumatic brain injury attorneys may be able to file a claim for punitive damages depending on the facts of the case. Punitive damages may be awarded if the party who caused your traumatic brain injury was grossly negligent or acted maliciously. Though, typically only economic and non-economic damages will be awarded.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A person is most likely to sustain a brain injury if the brain is damaged by a sudden trauma. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can occur when the head collides with something suddenly and violently or when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain.
Moderate TBI symptoms include headache, disorientation, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a terrible taste in the mouth, exhaustion or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and problems with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.
Traumatic brain injury can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Seizures, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and, in some cases, a coma are symptoms of more severe TBIs, which have the same symptoms as moderate TBIs.
The primary treatment for mild brain damage is rest. If you have a headache, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s critical to follow your doctor’s recommendations for complete rest and a gradual return to normal activities. If you start doing too much too soon, it may take longer to recover. Consult your doctor if your symptoms aren’t improving or if you’re experiencing new problems.
To prevent further injury, the first step in treating a moderate to severe brain injury is to stabilize your head and neck. They will check your blood pressure and the pressure inside your skull. The goal is to ensure that your brain receives enough blood and oxygen.
What Causes a Brain Injury?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 61,000 brain injury-related deaths in the United States in the most recent reported year, which equates to approximately 166 people every day. The most common causes of brain injuries are a fall, a firearm-related injury, a vehicle, truck, or motorcycle accident, or an assault. According to additional research, falls account for roughly half of all brain injury-related hospitalizations.
Brain injury or traumatic brain injuries have a variety of causes, depending on the type of head damage. One of the most common causes of brain injuries and TBIs is from falls, which are the leading cause of death in people aged 65 and up.
Additionally, motor vehicle accidents are another leading reason of brain injuries and are the most common cause of death among young adults. Most concussions and brain injuries are sustained through sports-related injuries, either from being jolted, tackled, or having a ball hit the head.
A very common cause of a work-related head injury is being struck or hit with an object. Also, explosions or electrocutions are also a leading cause of brain injuries while at work.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Brain Injury
Regardless of how the accident occurred, if you or a loved one sustained a brain injury the best way to receive compensation is to file a personal injury lawsuit. The basis for the personal injury lawsuit may vary due to how the injury was sustained.
A car or truck accident can result in minor injuries or fatalities, as well as serious injuries or fatalities. Unfortunately, this also applies to bicycle, bus, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents.
North Carolina is considered an “at-fault” state. This means that a person responsible for causing an injury is legally liable for the costs. Anyone injured in the accident would be compensated for their damages and injuries by the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Sometimes the insurance company will try to negotiate a lower amount or try to place equal or more blame on the victim. In these cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages for any brain injuries sustained. This is done through the courts with the assistance of an attorney.
If your injury was caused by an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, you may be able to sue. If you are legally permitted to be somewhere, you should be able to expect the property to be safe. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property and warn others of potential hazards. If they do not, a personal injury suit for premises liability may be required. To bring a successful premises liability claim, one must demonstrate:
- The property owner had a duty of care to you (and that you were a lawful visitor to the property and not a trespasser).
- There was a potentially hazardous situation.
- The property owner was aware of, or should have been aware of, the hazardous condition and its potential to cause injury.
- The property owner took no reasonable steps to remedy or warn about the condition.
- You were hurt as a result of the hazardous situation.
- You sustained monetary damages from the injury.
You could sustain a head injury as a result of a property condition in a variety of ways, including a slip and fall over broken or bowing flooring or loose carpet, loose or unsecured stairs, a tree branch falling and striking you, falling due to poor lighting, or any other type of injury from property conditions.
According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, businesses with three or more employees, including corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and partnerships, must obtain workers’ compensation insurance. If they don’t, then they need to qualify as self-insured employers in order to pay workers’ compensation benefits to all employees.
If you have sustained a brain injury while at work, then the first source of recourse is to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Most of the time, a worker cannot sue their employee if they sustained an injury at work during work hours.
A defective product’s manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may also be held liable for a head or brain injury. A product can be considered defective in three ways:
- A design defect occurs when a product is inherently dangerous due to an unsafe design. Even if it is manufactured exactly to the design specifications, it is still a dangerous product when used correctly.
- Manufacturing defect: A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is damaged, improperly assembled, or otherwise goes through the manufacturing process incorrectly.
- Inadequate warnings: Even if the product is designed and manufactured exactly as expected, injuries can occur when the labels or packaging do not adequately warn the consumer about potential dangers or incorrect use.
If any of these defects are found in a product, and they caused an injury, then the victim may bring a product liability lawsuit. It is common for product liability lawsuits to turn into a class action or multi-class lawsuit because if the product was defective once, it is likely to occur to someone else.
Showing Negligence After a Brain Injury
The four components required to establish negligence in a brain injury lawsuit are a duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. In order to receive monetary compensation for your injuries, you must establish each of these four elements in your case. If you are unable to demonstrate even one of these elements, then a case for negligence is not established, and it is unlikely that you will be able to collect damages.
Duty of Care
The first step in any traumatic brain injury lawsuit is to establish a duty of care. The defendant will be held liable for a brain injury claim only if they breached their duty of care to the victim. Often times it is easy to prove that someone had a duty of care. However, other times it is highly contested.
In some cases, such as car accidents, establishing the duty of care in a brain injury case is straightforward. In other cases, the existence of a duty of care is hotly contested. When injuries occur on someone else’s property, the duty of care is generally a point of contention.
After establishing that a duty of care was owed, the plaintiff must show that this obligation was breached. The question of whether or not the duty of care was breached remains at the heart of most traumatic brain injury cases.
The circumstances surrounding an injury will determine whether a breach occurred. Any careless, reckless, or malicious behavior may be considered a breach. If this act caused harm to another person, it could be considered a breach of duty of care.
One will be able to collect compensation from those who caused the injury if their actions or inactions were the exact cause that led to the injury. You will, however, be able to seek compensation only for injuries that are directly related to the breached duty of care. This aspect of negligence is referred to as causation.
Unless there is a causal relationship between the defendant’s actions and a brain injury, no monetary compensation will be available. Injuries that occurred prior to the breach of duty of care, for example, are ineligible in a personal injury lawsuit.
The final step in proving negligence in a traumatic brain injury case is to demonstrate damages. Because these losses are proportional to the degree of impairment, calculating damages for a brain injury may be straightforward. A successful lawsuit, on the other hand, will require the plaintiff to prove the amount of damages awarded.
In these cases, defendants frequently admit fault while claiming that the damages were minor. A plaintiff could file a claim for, among other things, lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, related medical expenses, therapy, the ability to earn future income, and disability expenses.
Types of Damages for Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in people involved in a variety of accidents. These injuries have the potential to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses. The costs are especially difficult for those who have been injured or disabled as a result of a negligent party. The only way for these injured parties to recoup their costs is to sue the negligent individual.
Damages may be recovered by the injured. An experienced TBI lawyer who specializes in brain injury lawsuits is best suited to assist you in recovering all compensation owed to you. Many injury cases include incidental damages to cover expenses incurred as a result of the accident. They frequently involve special damages, such as lost wages and medical bills. An experienced brain injury lawyer will also know how to help you collect future, compensatory, and, in extreme cases of negligence, punitive damages.
Those who sustain brain injuries are frequently left with a permanent disability. These damages cover the expected loss of income and other costs associated with a permanent brain injury. This includes any future medical costs that the person may incur, and other costs associated with the injury and loss of potential income.
Many brain injury victims pursue compensatory damages. Courts award compensatory damages to brain injury victims for disability, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible damages that are associated with a traumatic brain injury.
Compensation for the loss of enjoyment in life may also be included in compensatory or non-economic damages. Many brain-injured victims can never lead a normal life again. Depression and other mental health issues commonly result from brain injuries. These damages can be more difficult to obtain and even harder to prove. A TBI lawyer will be able to help obtain such damages.
Punitive damages may be awarded when a negligent party’s behavior is exceptionally reckless. These damages serve as punishment and serve as a deterrent to others from committing similar malicious, evil, or blatantly fraudulent acts. Only a portion of punitive damages is paid to the victim in some jurisdictions.
The injured party bears the burden of proving to the court that such damages should be awarded. A competent brain injury lawyer will understand how to demonstrate the preponderance of evidence required to persuade the court. Punitive damages are important in ensuring that the at-fault party never causes such an injury to another person again.
Hiring the Brain Injury Attorneys at Ricci Law Firm
Have you sustained a brain injury at work while on the job? Or are you unsure what to do after sustaining a brain injury in a serious accident? You can discuss your case with an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer at Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers today. We are here to review your claim and help you take the next best step. Call us today at (252) 888-6912 or fill out the online form for a free consultation.